International artists pull out of Israeli festival

A number of artists, including Lana Del Rey, have pulled out of the upcoming Meteor festival in Israel, amidst pressure form Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

According to Middle East Monitor, over 14 bands have cancelled upcoming appearances at the festival.

US producer DJ Python is one of the musicians who cancelled even though he sincerely believe[s] that the promoters of the festival had the best intentions to bring many of the world’s most forward-thinking artists to Israel for a unifying and positive musical experience,” theystated in a Facebook post.

DJ Python tweeted he was initially intending to donate the money made from performing Meteor to Pro-Palestinian causes, before deciding to pull out altogether.

US singer Lana Del Rey has also decided to cancel her performance at Meteor after facing international criticism after she was unable to schedule a coinciding performance in Palestine.

“It’s important to me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally,” she wrote on Twitter.

Del Rey’s planned performance had drawn criticism from fans arguing it would legitimise Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Palestinian Campaign for the Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) said her performance would “cover up gross violations of human rights”.

PACBI is also part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and had received 14,500 signatures on a petition calling for Del Rey to cancel her performance.

Meteor Festival, which is due to take place from September 6 to 8, has been the target of BDS attention calling for artists to pull out of the festival as a meaningful contribution to our struggle for freedom, justice and equality, the BDS Meteor boycott statement said.

According to BDS, the promoter Naranjah employs artists as ‘international ambassadors’ for Israel to improve its image from the outside, while Meteor also recommends attendees to stay in Israeli settlements in the occupied Golan Heights.

The BDS movement, established in 2005, aims at putting pressure on the Israeli government via economic and cultural boycotts to prevent the continuation of human rights abuses against Palestinians.

Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has previously attempted to link BDS to historic anti-semitism referring to the organisation as standing for Bigotry, Dishonesty and Shame.

In January the Israeli government released a list of 20 international groups banned from entering the country over BDS support, citing BDS as a national security threat.

Source: Palestine Monitor